UK working to restore hospital systems after cyberattack

The Spanish government said several companies including Telefonica had been targeted in ransomware cyberattack that affected the Windows operating system

A huge cyberattack brought disruption to Britain's health system on Friday and infected many Spanish companies with malicious software, and security researchers said a dozen other countries may be affected. Here's everything you need to know about the cyber attack.

Hospitals and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in London, Blackpool, Hertfordshire and Derbyshire were among those to report problems.

What about elsewhere in the world?

The majority of the attacks targeted Russia, Ukraine and Taiwan.

As per some reports, Russian Federation faced more infections among countries.

What's caused the attack?

The NHS said it believed the malware variant was called "Wanna Decryptor".

State agencies and major companies around the world were left reeling by the attacks which blocked access to files and demanded ransom money, forcing them to shut down their computer systems.

According to security experts, the ransomware exploits a vulnerability that was discovered and developed by the National Security Agency.

What happened when the attack hit?

This means the NHS - which largely still uses Windows XP - can now protect itself from this attack at no extra cost, reports the BBC's North America technology reporter Dave Lee.

Pictures on social media showed screens of NHS computers with images demanding payment of $300 (230 pounds, 275 euros) in Bitcoin, saying: "Ooops, your files have been encrypted!" The U.K.'s National Cyber Security Center said it is "working round the clock" to restore vital health services.

"I have convened a Scottish Government resilience meeting to ensure that we are closely monitoring the situation". The actual number of this attack could be much higher. This one spread in one big hit.

The NHS, which is an institution that Britons both revere and love to complain about, said it was "working closely with the National Cyber Security Centre, the Department of Health and NHS England to support affected organisations and to recommend appropriate mitigations". No NHS Trusts reported paying a ransom or informed law enforcement of the attacks; all preferred to deal with the attacks internally, said SentinelOne, which received responses from 94 of 129 NHS Trusts.

The cyberattack was initially believed to target only hospitals in the United Kingdom, but it turned out to be a worldwide attack, British Prime Minister Theresa May said. "There is no evidence that patient data has been compromised".

Krishna Chinthapalli, a doctor at Britain's National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery who wrote a paper on cybersecurity for the British Medical Journal, warned that British hospitals' old operating systems and store of confidential patient information made them an ideal target for blackmailers. Many cancelled all routine procedures and asked patients not to come to the hospital unless it was an emergency. The Guardian reported that the attack prompted the service to cancel operations and make documents such as patient records unavailable in England and Scotland. I didn't have a time.

The virus is said to attack computers on an internal network, as is the case with Telefonica, without affecting clients.

"A lot of people are going to go to work on Monday and click on a link in their mail - completely oblivious that all of this is going on or have heard about it and think that it's over - and suddenly wipe out their whole company", Gazeley said from Hong Kong.

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